Category Archives: Uncategorized

California: An Alert for Supporters of Public Schools!

Help save California’s public schools from the corrupt corporate charter school vampires.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A reader in California asks for help to fix one of the charter reform bill that has a big loophole.

He writes:

“Thank you for all you do for public education. In California right now are 4 assembly Bills – AB-1505 – AB-1508.

“AB-1508 in particular is intended to enable local school districts to consider the financial, program and facilities impacts when approving/denying new charter petitions. This leaves a huge gap for districts to have a say in renewing charters that were imposed on the districts by the California State Board of Education despite denial at the local and county levels.

“Would you be able to alert your readers in California to contact the bill’s authors before it goes to the floor for a vote to add language to AB-1508 to apply to charter renewals as well as new petitions?

“If enough Californians can respond, we may be able to…

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Posted by on March 24, 2019 in Uncategorized


This Is a Book You Should Read: Noliwe Rooks’ “Cutting School”

Discover the truth about “Segrenomics”.

Diane Ravitch's blog

I just finished reading Noliwe Rooks’ superb book, Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education (The New Press). Please buy a copy and read it. It is a powerful analysis of racism, segregation, poverty, the history of Black education (and miseducation), and their relationship to the current movement to privatize public education. She dissects the profitable business of segregation.

You will learn how cleverly the captains of finance and industry have managed to ignore the root causes of inequality of educational opportunity while profiting from the dire straits of poor children of color. In fact, as she shows, financiers and philanthropists have used and misused Black children throughout our history, for their own benefit and glory, not the children’s.

The book is both highly contemporary and at the same time, probably the best history of Black education that I have read. Rooks understands that…

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Posted by on March 18, 2019 in Uncategorized


About That College Admissions Scandal: Use of a Fake Nonprofit Was Critical


On March 12, 2019, I happened to be discussing with a few of my students the extent to which some individuals will go in order to benefit from academic fraud because college admission is a high-stakes issue.

Little did we know, that very day, the story broke about numerous individuals– among them the famous and moneyed– who have been implicated in a massive self-serving, deceptive, fraudulent network of college admission scamming known to date, as CNN reports:

Fifty people — from Hollywood stars and top industry CEOs to college coaches and standardized test administrators — stand accused of participating in a scheme to cheat on admissions tests and admit students to leading institutions as athletes regardless of their abilities, prosecutors revealed Tuesday in a federal indictment. The scandal is being called the largest college admissions scam ever prosecuted.

As the alleged culprits, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin…

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Posted by on March 16, 2019 in Uncategorized


Education Reformers Keep Pushing the Same Old Stuff

Teacher in a strange land

One of the people I respect most, in edu-journalism, is Joan Richardson. Mostly, this is because I used to read her fine pieces in the Detroit Free Press, and later, her work as editor of Kappan magazine, and she always seemed like the epitome of a concept that gets lots of lip service but is rarely achieved: fair and balanced.  Plus—she once met me for coffee, and afterward, sent lots of questions and even some writing assignments my way, looking for the perspective of an actual teacher.

So when I saw her applauding Mike Petrilli’s overblown puff piece about what education reformers believe, I was surprised:

This piece is written by a conservative with whom I rarely find common ground. But he’s done a stunning job of capturing the key issues in education reform today. While I remain fervently opposed to charter schools, I agree with virtually everything else…

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Posted by on March 15, 2019 in Uncategorized


California: Thurmond and Newsom Put the Fox in Charge of the Henhouse

Why does the charter school industry get to decide whether it is okay for them to drain funds and impose budget cuts on public schools when only 10-percent of the K-12 students in the state attend those corporate charter schools?

Diane Ravitch's blog

The story of the task force charged with reviewing the charter law and the fiscal impact of charters on public schools continues to evolve, and not in a good way.

Of the 11 members of the task force appointed by Tony Thurmond, in consultation with Governor Gavin Newsom, at least six are directly connected to the charter industry.

How can this be possible when the charter industry supported former Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa against Gavin Newsom, and when the charter industry spent millions to defeat Tony Thurmond, outspending his supporters by a margin of 2-1?

Here is the task force with new information about one member, the superintendent of El Dorado County:

The task force members are:

  • Cristina de Jesus, president and chief executive officer, Green Dot Public Schools California (charter chain);
  • Dolores Duran, California School Employees Association;
  • Margaret Fortune, California Charter Schools Association board chair; Fortune School…

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Posted by on March 11, 2019 in Uncategorized


California: Did Tony Thurmond Give the Charter Task Force to the Charter Lobby?

Did a billionaire deposit a fortune in an offshore account and buy Tony Thurmond?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Last November, there was a bitter contest for the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction in California.

The charter lobby pumped millions of dollars into the campaign of Marshall Tuck, former CEO of Green Dot charter schools. The charters spent twice as much as the California Teachers Association, which backed Tony Thurmond.

In a tight race, Thurmond won.

In two recent teachers’ strikes, in Los Angeles and Oakland, teachers demanded a moratorium on new charters until the fiscal impact of charters on public schools was thoroughly studied.

In response, Governor Gavin Newsom asked State Superintendent Tony Thurmond to set up a task force to examine the issues that charters raise and consider any needed revisions in the law.

Thurmond appointed an 11-member panel. Not a single one of the 11 is a teacher, even though teachers raised the questions in their strikes.

Worse, a possible majority of the panel represent…

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Posted by on March 10, 2019 in Uncategorized


Education Week: Charter High Schools Have Lower Graduation Rates Than Public High Schools

Another study reveals (again) that publicly funded, private-sector, make-someone-rich, corporate charter high schools have a lower graduation rate than real public high schools.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Education Week conducted a survey of graduation rates and discovered that charter high schools have lower graduation rates than public high schools.

Of course, charter apologists had many explanations and excuses but they apparently forgot their original claim that they would be far, far better than public schools.

A story by Arianna Prothero and Alex Hardin begins:

”At nearly 1,000 U.S. high schools, the chance of students graduating on time is no better than the flip of a coin. And charter schools—which were born to create more options for students—make up an outsized share of the number of public schools persistently graduating less than half of their students.

“An analysis of federal data by the Education Week Research Center identified 935 public high schools with four-year graduation rates of less than 50 percent in 2016-17, the most recent year available. Of those, 54 percent are charter schools. That’s one-quarter…

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Posted by on March 7, 2019 in Uncategorized